De Kolk (Kolk Harbor), Delft

De Kolk (Kolk Harbor), Delft

The Kolk Harbor, a triangular-shaped lock chamber on the Old Delft – the oldest canal in the city, is the place from which Johannes Vermeer painted his remarkable “View of Delft.”

Surprisingly, today the Kolk has retained its original form and dimensions very much intact, and it is quite possible to find a boat anchored at exactly the same point where Vermeer had pictured the large tow barge launched in 1655 for transportation to Rotterdam.

The actual spot from which it was painted – now known as Plein Delftzicht – back in Vermeer's day was an elevated position, possibly the upper floor of a house on the quayside across the river Schie. The artist was looking back to the city in the northwestern direction, with the Schiedam Gate found in the middle of the composition, and the Rotterdam Gate with barbican (long demolished) to the right – all reflected in the water of the harbor. Behind the Schiedam Gate is the long red-roofed arsenal (the Armamentarium).

The area of sunlit roofs of a row of houses seen in the picture, just to the left of the main tower, is presumably that on the Geer canal. To the right from the center, the sun illuminates the Protestant Nieuwe Kerk ("New Church"). To the left is "De Papegaey" (The Parrot) brewery (now demolished) and further left (above the two reddish triangular rooftops) is the top of the Oude Kerk ("Old Church"). Today, due to the increased height of the modern buildings in front, the spire of Oude Kerk is even less visible than in Vermeer's painting.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Delft. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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De Kolk (Kolk Harbor) on Map

Sight Name: De Kolk (Kolk Harbor)
Sight Location: Delft, Netherlands (See walking tours in Delft)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Delft, Netherlands

Create Your Own Walk in Delft

Create Your Own Walk in Delft

Creating your own self-guided walk in Delft is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Delft Introduction Walking Tour

Delft Introduction Walking Tour

The word "delven" in Dutch means "to dig." The town of Delft began in 1075 when a nobleman decided to build his dream manor where a canal crossed the silted up river Gantel. A settlement became a market town with a large market square. The town was called "Delft."

Canals were vital to Delft. Flat-bottomed boats brought in products, fuel and people. In 1246 Count...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Johannes Vermeer's Delft Walk

Johannes Vermeer's Delft Walk

The Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer (1632 – 1675) spent almost his entire life in his home town, Delft. He left only a few times, towards the end, on the short trips to Amsterdam and The Hague.

The old Delft undoubtedly was one of the most typical little towns of the 17th-century Netherlands, and as such, was rather picturesque. Just like any other Dutch place, Delft was dominated by its...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles